Our world is a world of injustice and violence. Every facet of our personal, social, and political reality in the world is completely corrupted by various forms of injustice and violence, but this is not to say that everything is unjust and violent. It is in all its parts corrupted but not saturated. If we are to be people of hope than we must never lose sight of this truth. In seeing that the corruption of the world is not at saturation point we can imagine redemption; the possibility of transformation and the makings of a better world. Given the gross inequity in the distribution of wealth, and the poverty and suffering which that creates, it is right that we protest and become the prophetic voice calling out in the wilderness. We must also get used to a life in the wilderness; because one of the most frustrating effects of the corruption of the world is that the vast majority of people are addicted to the false promises of profit and will resist the prophet. Had this not be the case the world would already be a better place. The causes and symptoms of the disease are many, and so – to have any hope of success – we must choose our battles.
When it comes to the problem of the unfair distribution of wealth then we are talking about class struggle; the ongoing social fight of the exploited for liberation from their exploiters. This is a poor definition of class struggle, but, as a specific theatre of the struggle, it will do as an exemplar. The struggle involves people, and not merely members of the bourgeoisie, the proletariat, and the lumpen-proletariat – real people. Wealth transfer from the exploited to the exploiter does not happen by accident. It follows a well-designed formula which has been built into the social and economic structures of the world. Of course, it has its architects and technicians who maintain this system of exploitation, but in the main the beneficiaries of the stolen wealth of the poor are the middle and moneyed classes, and these are the others with whom we live. These are real people. They are not the enemy – no matter the injustice and violence they perpetrate. They too are victims of their modes of living. Class struggle in the midst of others who do not yet see the harm they are doing is and must always be a mission of conversion rather than conquest.